God is not only the God of Christians

God is not only the God of Christians

We often think of God as the one who saves his people and works on their behalf. But the Biblical view of God is much wider than this. Consider this verse, for example:

Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master and in high favor, because by him the LORD had given victory to Syria.  (2 Ki. 5:1 ESV)

It’s the kind of introductory verse to a passage that we tend to skip. But see what it is saying: God had worked through Naaman to bring victory to Syria. God was working through this general. We are used to God bringing victory to Israel, or defeat if they were being judged, but now we see things from a different perspective. God is in control of the results of all battles in the world, not only the ones involving his people.

If you would have asked the king of Syria, or Naaman himself at this point, whether the God of Israel was responsible for their victories, they would have laughed at you. They would give the credit to Rimmon, their god, or perhaps their superior military tactics or strength of numbers. Yet the writer of 2 Kings attributes their victory to the LORD.

The inhabitants of the ancient world assumed that each god was local, protecting his people. This concept of one God who controls all things was strange to them, but it is consistently asserted by the God of the Bible. This means that even if atheists deny that there even is a God, God remains in control of what happens in their lives. It means that for those who worship other gods, the true God (who they do not worship) is in control rather than the one they are serving.

Jesus says something similar in Matthew 5 when he speaks of God sending rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. When people come to know Jesus, they can look back and see God’s hand in leading them there, even though they didn’t even know He was real at the time. God might well be acting in all kinds of ways we don’t currently know about, even among people who are currently strongly opposed to Him.

This means we can be very confident in an uncertain world. God is real and not limited to working among Christian people. He is not prevented by acting by governments who oppose Christians. He remains as powerful as ever. One day every knee will bow and recognise this; for now, we need to work hard to let people know that Jesus is King.